The wedding service, legally speaking

In 2004, after marriage between persons of the same sex became legal, I wrote a blog post about what a pastor might do when the couple had already vowed themselves to each other in the only spheres available: the social, religious or both.

Husband Jonathan and I are clear that our wedding seven years ago was real, if legally imperfect and that our ceremony a couple of weeks ago was not to replace it, but finish it. To underscore this, we kept the ceremony short, informal and with language echoing back to 2003.

In full, here’s what we did, or rather what the Rev. Victoria Weinstein led us in.

On July 5, 2003, at the Universalist National Memorial Church, you Jonathan Padget and Scott Wells, vowed to each other before God and the congregation, to have and to hold one another from that day
forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death shall you part. You sealed this vow by holding hands, exchanging rings, and with prayer and the breaking of bread.

Today, you come to add to your wedded state marriage under the law of the District of Columbia. Is this your intent?

Each: It is.

[Turning, holding hands.]

I, Jonathan, take you Scott to be my lawfully wedded husband.

I, Scott, take you Jonathan to be my lawfully wedded husband.

Forasmuch as Scott and Jonathan have thus pledged themselves each to the other in the presence of these witnesses, I do now, by virtue of authority vested in me by the District of Columbia pronounce that they
are married.

The Lord bless you with his love as a mantle on your shoulders, a crown on your foreheads, and a seal upon your hearts.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the companionship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

Needed we more?

2 Replies to “The wedding service, legally speaking”

  1. Nothing more.

    In fact… to answer the question of what one might do… I’d be tempted to suggest that it be framed as a reaffirmation of vows–in which the legal defect is also being corrected.

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